Sample Sunday: Gothica

It’s that time of the week again! Today is Sample Sunday for all of my twitter followers and today’s first treat is a snippet from my newest release – Gothica! To purchase this book visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords.

Scheller slipped on a protective rubber smock, rubber gloves, rubber overboots, and a rubber facial mask. To ensure that no one would interfere with the procedure, he locked the laboratory door.

The wooden box of the ECT machine seemed to be a safe distance from the examination table. The electrical cords were well over ten feet in length, giving the administrator safe harbor from the electricity’s destination. Scheller had no idea how Freeny would react the shock. Would the madman break free of his restraints as the current passed from one side of his skull to the other, and attempt to kill him again?

For a brief second, he thought of abandoning the experiment. But this was science, and he was a scientist. This was how it must be.

The doctor took a deep breath, plugged in the machine, said a brief prayer, and flipped the switch.

Freeny’s head had become a dark cage. The world had disappeared, slipped away like liquid mercury. Somewhere in the distance, he could hear a voice speaking in a monotone, slurred speech that he couldn’t understand.

He wanted to open his eyes, but he couldn’t. His brain sent the impulse to his eyelids, but they wouldn’t comply. He tried to move his arms and legs, but they were locked down. An eerie silence plagued his brain. He hated the silence. Ever since the voice had promised salvation, any moment of silence quickly grew into a fear of horrid loss. He had a purpose now, he thought, and that purpose was to pay mind only to the voices. Only the voices would lead him away from pain and to the safe, ignorant bliss of truth. The voices would serve as his lullaby and reason. But, they were silent now, and this he feared greater than anything he had ever known.

Suddenly, it felt like the hand of God was jarring his skin from his bones. Freeny’s body was being twisted and wrenched from within. Inside his skull, thunder and lightning were waging a war on the synapses of his brain. Freeny saw memories jump to the fore, and then dissipate like fog in a winter wind. He saw memories of his childhood. He saw his father coming home drunk and beating him senseless. Gone. He remembered the first girl he fucked. Gone. He remembered the first life he took. Gone. All memories he held tightly. Gone. All but one.

He was sitting near the pier watching the gathered crowd actually have a moment of release from their pitiful lives. It made him sick. The sound of the laughter, something he once shared with his beautiful wife, pierced his ears like the screams of dying dogs. That laughter would never tickle his heart again. Freeny’s wife perished under the cold, icy grip of the Ohio river. During a near-disastrous flood, her body was swept away in the undertow when she attempted to save a drowning child. Neither his wife nor the child survived.

He sat in the humid air alone, until a little girl invaded his space. The homeless moppet was wet from the river and smiling a pixie smile. “Hey mister, why don’t you jump in the water with everyone? It’s nice and cold.”

He was shocked from his thoughts. His heart was instantly racing and his jaw clenched, threatening to shatter his rotting teeth. He stared quizzically at the little girl. The noise from the pier had turned into a sharp static and was canceling all other sound.

The little girl’s mouth was moving, but Freeny heard nothing but static. When her smile faded with his lack of response, he heard a voice from somewhere he couldn’t place.

“Kill her.”

The voice soothed his mind. His heart slowed, and his jaw relaxed. A peaceful feeling began to wash through his veins. For the first time since before his wife’s death, he felt right with the world.

He knew what he had to do.

He stood up, towering over the little girl. Her mouth moved again, but he heard no sound from her lips.

“Kill her.” The voice echoed between his ears.

He reached down as if to stroke the cherub’s dirty-blond hair and, with one hand, twisted her head one hundred and eighty degrees. The child dropped like a sack of dirty laundry.

The static grew louder and louder. Inside the bones behind his face, his own laughter began to toll. As the laughter grew, so did the static. Both sounds were at war for his attention. As soon as it seemed the laughter would win, the static would take over. His body began to convulse violently. Freeny felt as if his arms and legs were going to snap in half.

Somehow, through the static, the voice was able to make itself heard. “I am the bogeyman. I am the first, but not the last.”

The static once again overtook the voice as he was brought to his knees. He was praying for death, but death would not come for him, yet.